Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Danny Akin on Wise Decision-Making and Alcohol Consumption

A new blog began a few months ago called Between the Times. Contributors are professors and administrators from Southeastern Seminary (Danny Akin, Bruce Ashford, Nathan Finn, Ken Keathley and David Nelson. They have put up some excellent posts, including a series by Dr. Akin on principles for discerning God's will in the gray areas of life. His last 2 of this 8-part series applies the biblical principles he articulated in the earlier posts to the troublesome issue of consuming beverage alcohol (part 1, part 2). All 8 articles are very good and are helpful in learning how to reason from God's Word to personal decisions. But I want particularly to call attention to Dr. Akin's application of principles to the quesiton of drinking alcohol.

It is a balanced, well-reasoned argument. My own view is very close to his. I do not drink and would be delighted if no one ever drank acohol. But I have yet to be convinced that the Bible forbids it and, therefore, refuse to judge those who imbibe as sinning in doing so.

One quality that I greatly admire in Dr. Akin is his unwillingness to use different standards for different groups. He speaks just as plainly to "us" as he does to "them." In other words, he does not think that he or those who are on his side in theological or denominational issues are above critique. One of the grave concerns that I have for self-styled Southern Baptist conservatives is an apparent unwillingness or inability to be self-critical. Too often, legitimate criticisms or even questions raised from fellow-conservatives have been dismissed as lack of loyalty at best or liberalism at worst. Danny Akin does not suffer from that malady, as demonstrated by the following remarks that are found in his defense of abstinance.
I should note that some who advocate moderation draw an analogy to eating and sex. They correctly point out that gluttony and sexual immorality are sin, but not the act of eating or sexual intercourse. I would want to make several observations in this context. First, gluttony and overeating is sinful and dishonors the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is something I was guilty of, God convicted me, and I lost 30 pounds. I stay in constant battle in this area. Second, many who would line up with me on alcohol run (but not very fast due to their weight!) from addressing gluttony. Third, some have alleged that Southern Baptist are hypocritical in passing resolutions on alcohol but not gluttony. I agree. So next year in Louisville someone needs to submit such a resolution. It will have my full support (emphasis added).
Whether you agree with Dr. Akin or not, you have to appreciate his plain speaking on the issue of gluttony. (Note to Joe: dust off your resolution and get it before the convention in L'ville!). If such a resolution makes it to the floor of the convention, I wonder if it will be amended to limit participation in denominational life to those who are not gluttons?

31 comments:

MarieP said...

Yes, I do appreciate his honesty about gluttony! Although, I don't think it would be too beneficial to limit participation in denominational life to those who don't eat ;-)

MarieP said...

The Reformed Baptist Seminary blog has several good articles on this issue. It is good to see this discussed:

The Son of Man Came Drinking- Part 1

The Son of Man Came Drinking- Part 2

Darby Livingston said...

No eating, no drinking. Might as well stay home from the convention since there's only one thing left on his list that isn't forbidden. :)

G. Alford said...

Tom,

Let me start by saying that I really respect and like Dr. Danny Akin… (He is one of the good guys!)

However this issue will not go away anytime soon because at its core is the question of Authority in the Southern Baptist Convention. What or who is the finial authority on issues of doctrine and conduct in the Southern Baptist Convention? Is the finial authority a “well-reasoned argument” from one of our most respected Seminary Presidents? Or is the finial authority the Word of God alone?

I know what our confession says:

“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.” – (Article I. BFM2000)

So until someone can make the argument for total abstinence from the Word of God alone (which simply cannot be done) I will remain unmoved.

I just posted an interesting article on this very topic today:

Alcohol and the Authority of the Word

Grace Always,

Will said...

I'm with G. Alford on this one. This is about the sufficiency of scripture, and whether or not it is the SOLE and ONLY source of authority for Christian practice. Dr. Akins heartfelt and sincere convictions are important, but not nearly as important as what the Bible has to say.

Alcohol consumption is not a grey area in the Bible. The Bible is very clear - drunkness is a sin, don't do anything that would cause a weaker brother to stumble or that would hurt your testimony.

Abstinence is not commanded. Jesus drank wine. We are killing millions of babies in this country every year. Let's major on the major, not major on the minor.

Will
Cedar Hill Texas

Micah said...

What about Gossip, Marie?

Russell Taylor said...

Welcome to my initiation into the blogging world. I've done very little of this in the past but have decided to dive into the movement. I agree that this is an authority issue. It seems everyone quickly qualifies themselves as a "non-user" of alcohol, so I thought I would represent a group that comes from the "user" background. I grew up around alcoholics. Exempting my parents, who drank very little. My extended family was "ate up with it". Prior to my conversion (literally right up to the night before) I drank regularly and often too much. I drink biblically now. Well almost. I don't drink wine during communion, or manufacture and distribute it at weddings like Jesus did, but someday I'll enjoy these things with Christ himself. I am also a former tobacco user. I was a "chewer" for about ten ours a day. I know longer chew cause I like kissing my wife better than chewing:) I do, however, believe that the abstinence only position is a mistake. As a pastor I am often asked about this issue and it is always my goal to speak consistently from the scriptural position. I would point out that it is the weak brother who abstains in Romans 14 not the mature. Maturity comes when we learn to live by convictions that are scriptural. We must teach our people to live by the Word and to be transformed by it's power. We need to teach our people to be patient with the weaker brethren who believe that drinking is a sin. I want to avoid quarreling with them, but I do want them to eventually grow mature enough to walk in the Spirit instead of tradition. I would also add that victory over any indulgence of the flesh is to walk in the Spirit. Tradition, super-will power, and even abstinence is not the same as Spirit filled. We need to teach our people that God's grace is sufficient and stop using psychobabble and AA techniques to give them victory over there sin. If not, the sin of alcoholism will just re-manifest itself into gluttony, pride, covetousness, or some other socially acceptable sin.

Jason said...

After reading this and hearing him make other comments about similar issues, I wonder if Dr. Akin is able to make a distinction between being overweight and overeating.

The 2 are not one and the same.

There are plenty of people who are overweight who are not gluttons, as are there people who are quite thin who overeat all the time.

Moreover, gluttony is not limited to eating - it is the sin of overindulging in ANY activity to one's detriment.

While we're at it let's go after all forms of gluttony.


Don't get me wrong. I am all for us exposing overeating as sin.
But I have a tendency to believe that this is a little bit misguided in its focus, though well intended...as is the repeated battles over alcohol. Well intentioned, but misguided.

Until I see the SBC leaders make a reasoned biblical argument on the alcohol issue (non legalistic, fair to what the Bible actually says, and without incendiary language), a lot of this kind of talk rings a little hollow.

volfan007 said...

It's not a sin to be overweight. Goodness gracious, alive! It's not a sin to eat until your full. Jesus fed the five thousand until they were full. So, there's nothing wrong with eating two cheeseburgers, instead of one. And, there's nothing wrong with not fitting the insurance companies scale of what's acceptable weight, and what's not.

It wasnt that long ago that chubby Mae West was the sex symbol of the US, but now, we have super models who may not eat for a couple of days at a time. It's cultural about what's too big and what's not.

Besides, as stated above, gluttony is not about eating two plates of catfish. It's about being lazy, and just laying around eating and drinking all day. Gluttony is about eating past being full...just eating and eating again...maybe even inducing vomitting as the Romans did, so that they could feast some more.

It's not about being a chubby, or big, person.

But, drinking alcohol is definitely talked about in Proverbs, and it teaches that anyone who would drink the fermented, hard stuff, is foolish. They playing with fire. Not sinful, but foolish. And, to get high on alcohol is a sin.

I dont believe that Jesus was sinful, nor was He foolish; thus, He did not drink the fermented, undiluted stuff.

We shouldnt either.

David

Russell Taylor said...

Dear David,

I appreciate your zeal for Christ-likeness, but I must disagree that Jesus didn't drink fermented drink. This is factually incorrect. I would make two points in response to your comments.
1) Proverbs 20:1 teaches that "Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise."
It's the leading, not drinking, of wine that is not wise. Certainly, Christ was never led by wine, nor should we be. Ephesians 5:18. What we should focus on as New Covenant members is not abstinance but rather action. Being Spirit-filled at all times is Christ's will. The spirit of antichrist and the age would have us abstain and equate this to godliness. See 1 Tim.4:3. This would not, however, have any profit against the flesh. "If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations- "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch" (referring to things that all perish as they are used)- according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity of the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh." Col.2:20-23 ESV. The only thing that stops the indulgence of the flesh is Spirit-filled living.
2) In Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology he explains the elements used in the Lord's Supper. In doing so he explains that the wine of the New Testament, unless qualified as new or sweet, was fermented. It's interesting that he states that this "is hardly an open question." He further says "And it may safely be said that there is not a scholar on the continent of Europe, who has the least doubt on the subject."
My point is this we have gone from being completely unified on the issue in Hodges day to the current state of cornfusion. I would say that tradition has more to do with the confusion than the clarity of the scriptural teaching. Christ did drink fermented wine and said to the apostles that he would drink it with them again in the Kingdom.

Godspeed
Russell

Will said...

David
MT11 18 For John came uneither eating vnor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came weating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, xa friend of ytax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” 6
The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Mt 11:18-19). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Will
Cedar Hill Tx

NativeVermonter said...

When a Christian's goal in this vapor of a life is to live to please His Savior these sorts of things tend to take care of themselves do they not? We want to take care of the physical temple in which we are simply stewards. We want to look at situations and say: "Now what will bring the most Glory to Christ?"
Can a glass of wine with dinner be God honoring? Sure. Can a three mile run on your lunch break be Christ exalting? Yes, sir'ee buddy.

I'm with our main man Will from Cedar Hill about how 1.5 million Americans are dying per year and our 16 million...errr, 6 million (man I keep forgetting :) "strong" convention just seems to not even notice.

Tom said...

I agree wholeheartedly that any attempt to call drinking alcohol as a beverage "sinful" is biblically untenable. I further think that much of the argumentation that tries to make that case is guilty of legalism. Danny Akin steers wide of fault.

John Piper said it well went he noted that though alcohol has been instrumental in wrecking the lives of untold millions of people, he sees "10 million more people being in hell because of legalism than because of alcoholism." I agree.

volfan007 said...

Will,

So, are you calling Jesus a glutton? That's the way your logic about the verses plays out.


It's not legalism to call unwise, or foolish, that which the Bible calls foolish....drinking fermented, undiluted wine.

It is sinful to be high on alcohol, or drunk. We are to be high on the Holy Spirit rather than on alcohol.

David

Will said...

Brother Tom

How are you feeling?

Anyway I could listen to your first sermom back at your church? Is it on your website somewhere?

Will
Cedar Hill Tx

Tom said...

Will:

I don't think that sermon has been uploaded yet. Hopefully it will be soon.

I am steadily improving and am full of hope that this will continue. The Lord has been wonderfully gracious to me. Thanks!

tom

G. Alford said...

David,

The real issue here is not about “alcohol” and everyone knows it... We do NOT have a “drinking problem” in the SBC.

The real issue here (and why this topic keeps coming up) is AUTHORITY in the SBC. We have some in leadership throughout the SBC who think it is their privilege to elevate their personal convictions above the very Word of God itself... and in doing so they have assumed for themselves the power of finial authority for all Southern Baptist on this issue.

I do not know of a single (no not one) Baptist who has said that “teetotalers” are unfit to serve in the convention. So no one is saying that total abstinence is “unwise”. Yet on the other side of the isle there is no shortage of teetotalers who are willing to both call those of us who are not teetotalers “unwise”, and have even refused to allow us to serve in certain areas of SBC life because we, like Jesus, are “unwise” in this area.

So you see, it's really not about “alcohol”... Every Southern Baptist should have perfect liberty concerning alcohol without any fear that someone is going to condemn them for something the Bible does not condemn. You should have perfect liberty to be a “teetotaler” without any condemnation from your fellow Southern Baptist, and I also should have perfect liberty to have a glass of wine with my evening meal without any condemnation from my fellow Southern Baptist.

Anything that infringes upon either your liberty in this area or my liberty in this area is unbiblical... and is in truth an issue of usurping the authority of the Scriptures.

Grace Always,

Daryl said...

I would suggest that (perhaps) allowing our non-believing neighbours to believe that we don't drink (if we don't, I do) because we are Christians.

Where I live, that strikes me as a problem. What's the trouble with saying you don't drink because you don't like it, that's legitimate and no one questions that logic.

Will said...

Brother Tom
I look forward to hearing it.

Hope you continue to mend.

Will
Cedar Hill Tx

threegirldad said...

What's the trouble with saying you don't drink because you don't like it

Nothing at all, if it's true. In fact, I don't drink for the same reason that I don't eat asparagus (blech!). ;-)

But a person who doesn't drink because doing so would violate conscience can't give that answer and be honest. Agreed?

I don't see how such a person has any other choice than to say, "Because I'm a Christian," although some additional explanation might avoid leaving the wrong impression.

Jeff said...

If you're too busy to read Dr. Akin's posts, you can hear Dr. Johnny Hunt preach Parts 2 and 3, pretty much word for word. Check out his Sunday night message at fbcw.org. He'll be preaching other parts of Dr. Akin's series over the next few weeks.

Litl-Luther said...

There is something seriously wrong when Christians should feel uncomfortable emulating Jesus’ behavior, and that is exactly what is happening in SBC through this legalistic view against alcohol.

How is it that the Pharisees could accuse Jesus of being a drunkard if the wine HE ADMITS TO DRINKING wasn’t alcoholic (Matt. 11:18-19; Lk 7:33-34)? Clearly, he drank fermented wine that can potentially intoxicate and drank openly. Otherwise their accusation would make not sense.

Moreover, Jesus gave wine to others to drink. He even gave additional wine to those who had already been drinking, and they were to the point in their celebrating that they could not recognize good wine from indifferent wine, indicating that they were at least a bit tipsy. It is under these conditions that Jesus replenishes their wine supply (John 2:6-10). If drinking alcohol is sin, then the implication is that Jesus is a sinner, and therefore, cannot be our Savior. By saying it is wrong, it makes Jesus look as if He is guilty of doing something wrong, since He clearly drank.

Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and teachers of the Law for putting manmade burdens upon people. (Matthew 15:7-9; 23:4; Luke 11:46). These texts clearly indicate that Jesus hates manmade commandments. Also, Christians are instructed not to submit to manmade rules. Paul tells Christians not to allow them selves to be put under the slavery of commandments of men (Colossians 2:20-22). In fact, Paul says “Do NOT let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink…” (Colossians 2:16)

When a doctrine develops that causes us to ignore or even repudiate the example of Jesus, or to imply that Christians cannot use the behavior of Jesus as a reliable guide, it is time to question the doctrine. To suggest that any use of wine is a sin would be to suggest that Jesus sinned. This fact is so obvious that it cannot be ignored.

It is a beautiful thing to be able to do all things to the glory of God, whether model or behavior after Jesus, including our eating and drinking.

Cheers!

Julius Mickel said...

I'm a young chaplain that has some strong convictions on the matter;
Specifically i'd like to point out someone i recently spent hours with before his sentencing; A young man Michael Gagnon (drunk driver killed part of a family in a van) This young man faced intense remorse, (i counseled him over and over 3hrs at a time, going through the gospel yet i couldn't say where he was at)
Anyways this young man had such a radical transformation of how he viewed alcohol, how he thought just weekend drinking was controlable this young man would NOT be able to understand if he came over my house and i offered him a beer.
Liberty?? What town or city in America would alcohol be viewed as ok for Christians (what unregenerate place would look at it with neutrality?). Would you start to explain how free you can be in Jesus and then to guard against antinominism list all the limits to everything?
Where are the men who dare to preach 'avoiding the very appearance of evil' let alone LIVE it?. I write this out of deep concern, the gospel is lost in America, (and a ot has to do with the viewable testimony of regeneration), and especially calvinists who should be amongst the holiest and humble men, not eggheads who don't evangelize and amuse themselves to death. I really don't mean to sound harsh, I think the bigger picture is lost, examine yourself and consider what is going through the mind of the salesman as you buy it!
www.constrainedbygrace.com

Russell Taylor said...

Julius,

First, let me say that I took the liberty of checking out your blog at www.constrainedbygrace.com I would recommend it to our friends. I especially liked the post on Hip Hop. Being a guy who's never heard a whole Hip Hop song, I appreciate your helpful perspective. I also empathize with your situation with Michael. I know first hand what drunkenness can do to lives. In my own family I've seen lives ruined and lost because of it. I am no dry land sailor, but let me add another perspective.
To me it is not an issue of "liberty", but of obedience. As I understand NT liberty, there are two things we are freed from. One is the condemnation of the law and the other is the bondage (power) of sin. In reference to the first our conscience must learn to walk in liberty that it did not previously have. Romans 14 refers to eating meat and keeping days for example. There were laws concerning these things that were no longer binding, so the conscience needed to be retrained. We cannot apply this to drinking. The law did not prohibit it. The bible never binds our conscience here past drunkenness. So we are not learning to walk in a liberty that we formerly did not have. It was and is still a sin to get drunk. Perhaps more discussion on this would help but let me share a short story to add to your perspective.
My wife and I have been praying for and trying to witness to some friends for a while. One evening they had us over with some of their friends (all drinkers). When they offered drinks to everyone my friend apologized to me and hoped that it didn't bother me. He had assumed I was a non-drinker because I was a Baptist pastor. I responded by explaining that the Bible didn't condemn drinking, only drunkenness and that we as Christians were to walk in the Spirit and so on. I went on to explain the gospel so easily out of this situation that it was weird. Imagine a Baptist pastor arguing for the right to drink as a lead in to sharing the gospel. The main point is that I dialogued on truth not tradition. What was not a "neutral" issue to him became a "neutral" position and allowed me to move the gospel to the center of the conversation, making that the "non-neutral" issue. To this day that's the clearest opportunity I've had to share the gospel with him and his friends. I'm still praying for their conversion. I would say that Jesus ignored traditional stigma's in order to seek and save the lost and we should do the same. We should be willing to be accused as Christ was. He came drinking and they accused him of being a drunkard and being a friend of sinners. Matthew 11:19. If we are going to be friends of sinners for the sake of of the gospel, then we've got to learn to define sin exactly as the Bible does. If we teach the traditions of men as the commandments of God, then we undermine the authority of the Word. Please understand, I would never offer a stumbling block to someone, but that can be done by either drinking or not drinking. May God give us the wisdom to know when to abstain and when to drink, if ever. The real issue is knowing Christ. God bless your work Julius.

Godspeed.

Litl-Luther said...

Julius,

I agree with Russell when he said,

"If we are going to be friends of sinners for the sake of the gospel, then we've got to learn to define sin exactly as the Bible does. If we teach the traditions of men as the commandments of God, then we undermine the authority of the Word."

You are basing your conviction on how alcohol can ruin lives, but you are not basing your conviction on God’s Word. You make drinking out to be sin, and thus you make our Savior out to be a sinner. You are trying to compel us to adopt commandments of Men, something Jesus hates.

Sorry, I didn't put seasoning on my words as Russell did.

Drinking alcohol is not sin; in fact it can be consumed by Christians, and if consumed, it should be done to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31) It does not dishonor God; it can glorify God.

Julius Mickel said...

Russell
perhaps you are the exception
Lilluther I think you should reread my post again before commenting -I rarely have time to read other blogs but certainly the name fits if you do this often Luther could've avoid a lot of needless controversy if he wasn't so quick to react.

From my point of view, in America and in the culture we live in, most of those times won't come in intimate settings, but more public like the reference to the store---All i'm saying is that i simply don't have tme to fight every misunderstanding in this culture or point out those fine lines in passing conversation SO I would with ease sacrifice something I thought might hinder the gospel in any way shape or form. I grieve over the fact that there's so much debate on these type of things but it's so rare "today" to hear of people that would sacrifice something unless it's absolutely sin -especially young calvinists.
well that's my two cents bless you guys

Julius Mickel said...

Oh yeah Russell
I agree totally on not appying tradition as commandments. I'm not traditional (i mean i wasnt raised in the church, nor are my convictions sprung from some person i followed). When i have the time, sure i will defend things that are not crucial. Like the Hip-hop thing, clothing and so on- (Please keep in mind i referenced to cultural mindsets and it can't be ignored that alcohol had a much wider use in new testament times- I'm not basing my thoughts on my experience with one man)
My thoughts on dating follow this logic (kind of), i wouldn't tell someone they are in sin if they choose to date, but i'd certainly stress the more wise and less tempting course.
My comments were more for 'also keep this mind' use--- I would still hold that Paul's admonishment went further than what the Old testament law said, i think the focus was more on people's conscience and yes the weaker is condemned by his weak conscience but the more mature sacrifices what he even knows is permissable if it will help (Paul doesn't say take that believer aside and explain how silly he's being) just some thoughts
www.constrainedbygrace.com

Litl-Luther said...

Julius,

But why is it that you think alcohol will "hinder" the gospel? If anything, the manmade rules that Christians put in place are what "hinder" the gospel. People don't want to become Christian because they think they will have to give up drinking, smoking, dancing, wearing the cloths they like, going to the movies, etc., etc.--all manmade rules. It is the Christians who keep these manmade rules in place that are hindering the gospel of Christ.

Russell Taylor said...

Julius,

Let me mitigate my position a little by saying that I think we may have more in common on the issue than we do disagreement. First, my wife would agree with you. She's never tasted a beer and I have no desire for her to. Second, I would never drink if I thought it may offend someone. When I occasionally have a drink, it is always in a "comfort zone" situation and I have absolutely no struggle with addiction. If I never drank again it would have no effect on my life. Although, it may on others. Like my neighbor or some of my friends.
I was raised around southern, white rednecks. I've never listened to a hip hop song and I can tell you that the "church goers" I grew up with could not imagine Christian Hip Hop. I can though. I saw an interview on Mark Driscoll's site with a young black musician who had started a Hip Hop label for the purpose of interacting with the Hip Hop community. As he explained his desires and mission for his work I was moved with the clarity of his calling. His heart was clearly for reaching people with the gospel. It was an excellent illustration of a missional mindset. I would argue on behalf of his ministry to all my redneck friends.
My point is this, our growth in grace is progressive. I share your passion. Our application may be a little different, but I think we'll both think of the person we are trying to reach or minister to before we act. I think we should stay as close to the culture as possible without sinning. I think this is the spirit of 1 Corinthians 9. Verse 19 says, "For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them."ESV
My original point is for biblical authority. I would say to anyone that it's a sin to get drunk, but the Bible gives us freedom to interact with our culture in liberty. That may or may not mean having a drink with them. If you and I ever meet for lunch, I would prefer "sweet" tea. It's a southern thing.

Godspeed.

ps. I apologize if I seemed to be pulling you aside to tell you that you were silly. That wasn't my heart. It's quite clear that you are a serious thinker.

Julius Mickel said...

Russell, I agree we are closer than looks. I thank you for stirring my thoughts about this, especially the 'comfort zone' scenarios. I have heard 1 Cor 9 also used to support not offending the culture (though i'm free, i won't use it if it hinders...).
I do believe the example of some of the godliest and most enduring ministries have been a higher standard of living (ever heard the saying 'others can, you can not') I wish i could have something like Edwards resolutions, or Robert Mcheynes kind.
Missional: Useful? sometimes. Necessary? NO! As long as one doesn't try to sell their method as the missing key to reaching 'people types'. And as long as someone isn't trying to be something they are not (edgy, radical, hip-hop, punk, whatever), we use the gifts within our culture but we don't allow the culture to dictate.

Manmade rules? hmmm We are speaking of principles, i believe i've been accurate in my assessment of American culture especially it's view towards alcohol (ever heard the question 'but why drink unless you're getting drunk' -certainly a common mindset). I'd be the first to defend a brother, if i overheard someone condemning him for drinking, although if i was a Pastor i would certainly try to compel my staff to abstain (at least in public). It's very hard for teens and young adults to understand these things:
Aside from just this, i'm concerned about this growing type of attitude that has crossed over into other areas. (i'm trying to be practical, i usually don't think in terms of classroom setting, but nitty gritty daily ministry)
Imagine teaching on Moritification without addressing 'principles' (and the attitudes behind them) Owen, Spurgeon, the Puritans and many of the most influential men of our day (the older) live by such things, unfortunately there's a greater trend of the younger generation ignoring the rich examples (not of great thinkers, but men known for their holiness). It's like the only question anyone's asking or defending is What am i free to do? (that's why we need all the gimmicks because the world doesn't see musch difference--
it's been fun-but i'll just leave it at this- blessings brothers (and sisters).

Litl-Luther said...

Julius,
It seems quite presumptuous to me to think we should strive to live a holier life with high 'principles' than our Lord Jesus Christ—who Himself drank wine openly and gave wine to others.

Cheers brothers!